Those in San Francisco are familiar with The Castro’s beloved rainbow crosswalk. Seattle took it one step further when the city’s Department of Transportation announced that it will now permit community members to customize their neighborhood crosswalks. The eye-catching trend began in June when Seattle DOT repainted crosswalks in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in honor of Pride Week.

Then in August, around the time of the Umoja Fest Africatown Heritage Parade, community members in the Central District painted their crosswalks red, black and green in honor of the Pan-African flag. The crosswalk painting was also in response to the changes happening in their neighborhood. The city embraced the change and even added reflective strips to make it visible at night.

Photo from Seattle Bike Blog

Now crosswalk painting is a completely legit government program, and DOT has even allocated funds for the project. Neighborhoods have to apply and the government will have to approve the designs: no triangles, octogons, and probably in an effort to keep corporations from coming in and ruining all the fun – no logos, either.

Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement that, “This is about celebrating and enhancing community ideas,” and that he is “excited to see more history, culture, and community on display for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Well done, Seattle.



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